Find Your Niche
You can’t be all things to all people. After a year of working in real estate sales, you might find that you really like engaging with a particular segment of your market or that the bulk of your referrals are coming from a particular niche. You may realize that in order to expand your client base and grow your sales, you need to focus on the small, well-defined segment that’s responsible for most of your sales.
If you’re serious about pursuing a particular niche, there might be opportunities to obtain additional training and become designated or certified in that niche.
For more on certifications, check out Determining Whether You Need Additional Training and Professional Certifications, later in this tool kit.
If you don’t already know what that niche should be, then consider the following niche markets:
- Seniors. People over age 50 represent about a third of the U.S. population, but control about three-quarters of the country’s wealth.
- First-Time Homebuyers. New buyers represent 37 percent of all home sales, according to The 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
- Multicultural Buyers. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that minorities will comprise nearly half of the U.S. population by 2050.
- Luxury-Home Buyers. In the third quarter of 2012, 8.4 percent of new homes sold for more than $500,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- Baby Boomers. This is the largest generation in the country’s history. Born between 1946 and 1964, it numbers roughly 81 million people, including some 40 million household heads.
- Generation X. The country’s 44 million Gen-Xers, now in their mid-20s to early 30s, are emerging as the next major homebuying group. They're affluent and educated, and they buy homes at an earlier age than the boomers did.
- Internet-Empowered Consumers. The 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that 88 percent of home buyers use the Internet to search for homes.
- FSBOs. According to The 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 37 percent of FSBOs cite commission cost as their primary reason for not using a real estate salesperson. If you can convince this segment of buyers and sellers of your value proposition, you can tap this FSBO market and make it a lucrative niche.
These are only a few of the major niches possible in real estate. You can decide that your particular niche is a small town or neighborhood. You might want to target golfers because you love golf. Or you may want to target soccer moms. The more creative you are in establishing a niche, the more likely that you will not have as much competition as you would in the more established niches.
Your niche should be large enough to provide a strong pipeline of business but small enough for you to have a big presence. It should relate to you personally in some way, although you don't have to be a member of your own niche group. Experts recommend that new practitioners focus on one niche early in their careers.
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